This being an election year, there will soon be a lot of bleating about “Illegal aliens”* and immigration reform. There will be calls for ID checks on suspicious (brown) people, ala Jan Brewer’s Arizona. There will be calls for bigger walls and more armed men guarding our borders, providing job security for unskilled laborers in the employ of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
All of these would do two important things: Cause lots of Homeland Security money to be spent, and make absolutely no significant change in the amount of undocumented workers in the U.S.A.
This last item is vital because no one, with the possible exception of a few million GOP blue collar voters, actually wants to stop illegal immigration. Certainly the big money donors to the GOP election campaigns don’t. Undocumented workers are a big businessman’s wet dream. They work below minimum wage in appalling conditions, they don’t complain, and when it’s time to cut their paychecks you can call the I.C.E. and have them deported.
The key to real immigration reform is not building more walls or hiring more guards. We’ve been trying that for a while now and it hasn’t changed anything. We need a new approach.
I just happen to have one.
We make it a crime, punishable by a fine of $20,000 per victim, to pay an employee below minimum wage. We award half the amount of the fine to the worker who was cheated in addition to back wages.
Oh yes, and whistle-blowers get an automatic green card if an arrest is made.
I guarantee the number of people crossing the border will dry up to a trickle in no time…except for sweatshop owners jumping bail.
* “Illegal Aliens” is a registered trademark of the Republican Party.
Be seeing you.